Posts Tagged With: 91

Rocky Patel Quarter Century Robusto

Rocky Patel Quarter Century Robusto. And as the name suggests, it celebrates the 25th anniversary of Rocky Patel as a cigar manufacturer. In 1995, the 35-year-old entertainment lawyer set his first steps in the industry with Indian Tobac. Nobody would have imagined that twenty-five years later, the Rocky Patel brand would be so strong and one of the best-selling cigar brands in the world. The Indian-born Patel had no background in tobacco, and people were expecting him to fail.

But now, 25 years later, he’s a rockstar in the industry. And to celebrate Patel created the Quarter Century. With Nicaraguan filler that has been aging for a decade. A Honduran binder to bind it all together. And then a dark Mexican San Andres wrapper. After rolling, the cigars age at the factory in Nicaragua for an additional two years before being released on the market.

The dark wrapper looks a bit dry. But the color is great and there aren’t any ugly veins. The two rings match, red with light yellow lettering. The construction feels good. The head is a beautiful round shape with a perfect triple cap. The aroma is amazing, deep, strong, like standing in a barnyard early in the morning before the world comes back alive.


The cold draw is perfect. Dry in flavor, a bit earthy with hay. The first puff is coffee, dark roast. The cigar holds the coffee flavor but adds soil, leather, spices, and pepper. There is also a hint of extra dark chocolate. At the end of the first third, there’s also wood with some sort of nuttiness. The smoke is tickling the back of the throat. The rough edge is gone in the second third. There is a bit more red pepper. The cigar is more earthy now, but the coffee is still lingering in the background. The Maduro wrapper is also releasing its sweetness. The earthiness grows, with sweetness and spice on the tip of the tongue. The earthiness is the main flavor but in the end, a very strong pepper overpowers it.

The draw is great. The ash is light gray and reasonably firm. The burn is great. The smoke is good, thick enough, and enough volume. It is a full-body cigar, full of dark flavors as well. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? A fiver every now and then.

Categories: 91, Nicaraguan cigars, Rocky Patel, Tavicusa | Tags: , , , , ,

San Cristobal de la Habana Harimau Malaya Exclusivo Malaysia

San Cristobal de la Habana Harimau Malaya Exclusivo Malaysia. That is a mouth full. Earlier this year Pacific Cigar Company, the second-largest Habanos distributor in the world, released this cigar. It is the first regional edition for Malaysia ever. And only the fourth time that Pacific Cigar Company made a regional edition for one country in their territory instead of an Asian Pacifico regional. Only Taiwan and Hong Kong had that honor, Hong Kong twice. And it is also the first time that Pacific Cigar Company is using San Cristobal de la Habana as the brand for a regional edition.

The cigar itself is a format only used for one other cigar, the Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill. The factory name is Montesco, with a 5⅛x55 size. Habanos and PCC have released 8888 boxes of 10 cigars. And while that may sound like a weird number, it is not. There is a large Chinese population in Malaysia and in Chinese culture 8 is a number that stands for prosperity and wealth. Plus the cigars are also available in Hong Kong, where Pacific Cigars has its headquarters and a few lounges.

The wrapper looks good, quite dark for a Cuban cigar with a thin vein. The triple cap is placed perfectly. The cigar has the brown, yellow, and gold San Cristobal de La Habana band with the classic red, white, and silver exclusivo band. As we understand that Habanos likes uniformity in the exclusivo bands we get that they all have the same design. But often they don’t match with the regular ring, as is the case with this cigar. The construction feels good. For the last few years, Cuba has been improving the construction quality and it pays off. The cigar has a mild, yet deep aroma of manure and barnyard. There is no ammonia smell, which was kind of expected since it’s a young cigar.

The cold draw is fine and quite spicy. The first puffs are typical Cuban, old school. Soil, leather, and coffee. Then a strong wood shows up, not cedar but a stronger wood flavor. There is also a hint of citrus. Then there are spices, gingerbread spices, with cedar, soil, and leather. The leather and earthiness remain. But some salt, pepper, and nuts show up too. All quite nuanced and refined for a young cigar. There is no harshness at all. The second third has more power and strength. More pepper, with wood, nuts, and leather. The cigar gets more of a bite. One or two years of aging would improve this part of the cigar. The retrohale brings dark spices to the front. The final third has a nice mixture of spices, with nuts, soil, and leather. All in balance. The aftertaste has some pepper. Towards the end, pepper picks up a lot.

The draw is fine, but as said before, it’s been a focus of Cubatabaco for the last few years. Draw issues are less common than a few years ago. There are some burn issues though. The ash is dark but firm. It leaves a nice cone. The smoke is okay but could have been a bit thicker. The cigar is young and will improve with some aging. But this isn’t a cigar to age for more than 5 to 7 years is our expectation. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Not for the insane price they are asking

Categories: 91, Cuban cigars, San Cristobal de la Habana (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , ,

Don Kiki Platinum Label Toro

Don Kiki Platinum Label Toro. This is a cigar that is not an annual limited edition but also not a regular production cigar. Cuban Crafters, the retail outlet that is part of the Don Kiki Berger emporium describes this as ‘only available once in a while. There are several sizes when available, but for this review, we are selecting the 6×50 Toro. The Don Kiki Berger empire includes tobacco plantations, Tabacalera Esteli, Cuban Crafters, Don Kiki Superstore, and K by Karen Berger. Karen is Don Kiki’s widow and she’s one of the leading ladies of the cigar industry.

The Don Kiki Platinum Label came on the market in 2015. Currently, it’s available in a select number of countries but Karen Berger is expanding international distribution. When the cigar was first available, the label was different but the blend of the cigar is still the same. It’s all Nicaraguan tobacco with an Ecuadorian Maduro wrapper. The filler is a mixture of tobacco from Esteli, where the factory is located as well.

The label is all silver and platinum. Either matte or glossy. The background is matte, with the Don Kiki logo and the words limited edition in glossy. The foot ring has a bit of a diamond plate look with Don Kiki 1957 embossing. The wrapper is oily and dark, hearty. The cigar feels very well constructed with a nice triple cap. The aroma of the cigar is medium-strong. Dark wood with some barnyard aroma is the best way to describe the smell.

The cold draw is fine with a little nutty flavor, but a bit dusty. After lighting the cigar opens with straw and sweetness. There is a hint of spice in the retrohale. A few puffs later a little leather shows up with some pepper. The sweetness is close to confectioners’ sugar. Slowly there is some wood and nuttiness. The nut and sweetness become the main flavor. The sweetness in the retrohale is almost cinnamon. There is still a bit of leather. The cigar is buttery creamy. Slowly more pepper and wood show up. And there is a hint of citrus to tie all the flavors together. The sweetness is still there. There are also more green herbs. Wood is still there, as the base flavor. The leather gets a bit stronger and the flavors turn a bit Cuban. Then the nuttiness is coming on strong, with a hint of coffee.

The draw is good, maybe a little too good, but all within margins. The smoke is thick and lush. The light gray ash is like a stack of dimes. The burn is straight and slow. This cigar is medium in body but full in flavor. The smoking time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 91, Don Kiki, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Esteli | Tags: , , ,

Sobremesa Brulee Blue

Sobremesa Brulee Blue. A Corona Gorda with a Connecticut Shade wrapper from Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust. According to Steve Saka, this is a cigar for the cigar geeks. And that intrigues the cigar geeks in me. The cigars are limited in production, only 13.000 cigars, and only available in the United States. It is a tweaked version of the Sobremesa Brûlée regular production blend.

Two years ago, Dunbarton came out with the Sobremesa Brûlée. Quite a shock for the fans of Steve Saka, as he is known for bold yet balanced blends. But as he said back then “Sobremesa Brûlée is a recreation of the milder, shade-wrapped ligas of my early years. Somewhere over the last three decades, many of the classic shade cigars have become wispy, uninspiring, and rather dull to my palate. I wanted to share with others the way I remember these blonde cigars being,”. And the line is a success. Let’s see how this Sobremesa Brulee Blue is.

The cigar looks good. A light-colored wrapper, but not pale as many other Connecticut Shade wrappers. You can see it’s a delicate wrapper with some slight veins. The pigtail is always a nice touch. The ring is a piece of art, it looks very simple but it has a lot of details. The original ring won an international award. This version has a beautiful baby blue color added. The construction feels good. The medium-strong aroma has hints of sawdust.

The cold draw is very sweet. This is probably where the “sweetened wrapper or not” debate comes from. The airflow is perfect though. The first puffs are spicy and sweet. The spice feels a bit like tongue bite when you smoke pipe tobacco too fast. There’s also some toast. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. There a slight wood flavor as well. It’s subtle though, like everything on this cigar. Steve Saka’s goal was to blend a cigar to mimic the old school Connecticut cigars. He succeeded. In the second part, there is some marzipan sweetness. The pepper picks up. The finale is spicy and woody.

The construction is great. The draw is fabulous. The gray smoke is quite full. The light gray ash isn’t very firm. The burn is sharp. The cigar is mild in body, but medium in flavor. The smoke time is one hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I am a fan of Steve Saka’s cigars but not of Connecticut Shade. I’ll get something else from Dunbarton instead.

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars, Sobremesa | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Don Kiki Brown Label Figurado

Don Kiki Brown Label Figurado. For those that are unaware of who Don Kiki is, read the article on Industry Legends: Don Kiki Berger on Ministry of Cigars. It is a story about a second-generation Polish Cuban who came to America and built a retail empire in Miami. But also became a cigar manufacturer and a tobacco grower in Nicaragua. Unfortunately, Enrique ‘Don Kiki’ Berger is no longer with us but his widow Karen Berger continues to dominate the Miami retail scene and runs the cigar imperium. With Don Kiki cigars, but also her K by Karen Berger line.

This Don Kiki Brown Label Perfecto is a small, funny-looking Figurado. Almost a Perfecto size, but with a semi-box press and not exactly a perfecto shape. Thus figurado is the perfect name. As for the term figurado, all non parejo shaped cigars are figurados. So every torpedo, perfecto, pyramid, etc is a figurado. And this specific one is a Nicaraguan puro. But all the tobacco comes from Cuban seed. Some of the tobacco comes from the farm located right next to the factory Tabacalera Esteli in Esteli.

This is a cute-looking cigar. A nicely figurado shape. Very thin at the head and then a perfecto shape at the foot. The head is flat, and the wrapper looks a bit lighter at the foot. The cigar is partially round and partially box-pressed. The Colorado Maduro color of the wrapper is good. The ring is very dark brown, almost black. There is also a Don Kiki Black Label line, but the Brown Label has golden letters, where the black label uses silver. So that makes the lines easy to differentiate. The unique shape makes this cigar score high on looks. The aroma isn’t very strong. It is a stable aroma.

The cold draw is fine and leaves a citrus flavor on the lips. Almost sparkling, like Sprite. After lighting there is a lemony sweetness with coffee, earth, and leather. There is a hint of vanilla in the retrohale. The cigar remains fresh with that lemon-like acidity and a nice sweetness. There is also some dark spice and some leather. Suddenly, below the sweet and sour lime, there is a hint of walnuts. The balance between sweetness and citrus is perfect. Add the walnuts and some black pepper and this cigar exceed expectations. The second third starts with that sweetness, leather, citrus, and baking spices. The baking spices are stronger in the retrohale. Slowly the cigar gets a bit more of a leather and leaves flavor. There are subtle changes in the flavor, but it all remains smooth and mellow. In the last part, there is more of a nutty flavor. The lemon and sweetness tone down a lot. Leather returns. The final puffs have a nice dose of pepper and a hint of wood.

The draw is great, especially for such a hard vitola to roll. The stack of dimes ash is great to look at. It’s salt and pepper in color. The smoke is good in both volume and thickness. The burn is straight and slow. This is a medium body and medium flavor cigar. Smooth, subtle, and delicious. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s delicious and cheap so the answer can only be ‘hell yeah’

Categories: 91, Don Kiki, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera Esteli | Tags: , , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Grand Architect Toro

Hiram & Solomon Grand Architect Toro. When Hiram & Solomon introduced the Grand Architect in 2019 the company had something to say. “It is appropriate that a society founded on the principles of architecture, which symbolizes the terms of that science to moral purposes, and whose members profess to be architects of a spiritual temple should view the Divine Being, under whose holy law they are constructing that edifice, as their Master Builder or Great Architect. Sometimes, but less correctly, the title Grand Architect of the Universe is found.”

The cigar, like all regular production Hiram & Solomon cigars, comes from Nicaragua. They are made at Plasencia Cigars and David Blanco from Blanco Cigars is part of the blending team. The tobacco from Paraguay is pretty rare. It is part of the filler, together with tobacco from Esteli and Jalapa. The binder is Habano Seco from Jalapa. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Corojo. There are several sizes available but for this review,I smoke a 6×52 Toro.

The cigar has a bit of a reddish glow on the wrapper. It is smooth and mild oily. The ring is different than other Hiram & Solomon rings, it doesn’t have the Masonic logo. But it is in the same style and recognizable as part of the Hiram & Solomon line. Baby blue with gold, high-quality print work. The cigar feels well constructed. The barnyard or petting zoo aroma is pleasant and strong.

The cold draw is a bit tighter than perfect. It leaves a mixture of raisin and white pepper on the lips. The cigar gives coffee, herbs, sweetness from the start. There is also a bit of leather. There is a strange but pleasant salt flavor as well. After a few puffs, leather, herbs and wood take over. The flavors are smooth, but with a little edge. The balance is there, but a bit more character would have been nice. The second third starts with wood, leather, herbs, white pepper, and a bit of sweetness and hay. The sweetness is very distinct while the pepper grows a bit. Right before the cigar moves in the third the cigar gives wood, leather, soil, pepper, and a bit of cinnamon. There is more character now. Wood and leather getting stronger, with cinnamon and white pepper as support. The finale is full of strength, very nice in flavor with cinnamon, leather, pepper, and wood.

The draw is fine. The ash is salt and pepper colored, it is also a bit frayed. The cigar produces a good amount of medium-thick smoke. The burn had to be corrected once. This cigar is medium to full in body and in flavor. The cigar starts out mellow and easy, but slowly there’s more character. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I enjoyed it.

Categories: 91, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacos de Oriente Nicaragua | Tags: , , , ,

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Dedacas El Embargo

Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Dedacas El Embargo. That is a mouth full. Not just by name, but also by size, a 6×60. This cigar is exclusively for Europe. And the name suits, as Europe was the continent where Joya de Nicaragua sold its cigars when the Reagan presidency installed an embargo against Nicaragua and the Sandinista regime. The embargo was in place until 1990.

The Joya de Nicaragua Cinco Decadas blend stems from the 50th anniversary of the oldest cigar factory in Nicaragua. It is part of the Obras Maestras selection, the best Joya de Nicaragua has to offer. As for the blend, nobody but the master blenders at Joya de Nicaragua know. The blend is a company secret. The cigars come in boxes of ten and are available exclusively in Europe.

It’s a 6×60 but at first glance, it doesn’t look much bigger than the toro due to the semi box press. The beautiful oily wrapper is dark and leathery. The cream color of the ring with the red and golden print is beautiful as well. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium strong. Darm wood with green herbs is the best way to describe the aroma.

The cold draw is fine with dry spices. The first flavors are toast, leather, with spices. The flavors slowly intensify. After a while, coffee and a hint of vanilla appear. Slowly towards the end of the first third, the mouthfeel gets thick and meaty. With more wood, spice, and pepper. The cigar picks up more coffee and spice. With some earthiness, wood, and leather. It’s getting stronger. The final third starts with coffee and soil. The cigar is too strong to retrohale. The finale is earthy, woody, with coffee and pepper.

The draw is great. Thanks to the semi box-press the 60 ring gauge isn’t that bad. The ash is light in color and quite firm. The burn is beautiful and the smoke is thick. It is a full-body cigar with lots of flavors. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I’d take the Diadema over this size. But it is a great smoke.

Categories: 91, Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua, Joya de Nicaragua, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate

Undercrown Shady XX by Drew Estate. When you think “cigars and hip-hop” there is one brand that jumps out. It is Drew Estate. Hip-hop originated in New York, just as Drew Estate. And everybody at Drew Estate loves hip-hop, it is the music you hear at their booth during every trade show. So when Shady Records was looking for a cigar company to collaborate with, Drew Estate was the obvious choice. And so happens. In 2014, 10 tobacconists in the Detroit area had the opportunity to sell Undercrown Shady cigars. These were a limited edition. It was a success, so the next editions were distributed through Drew Diplomat retailers all over the USA.

Now why Shady Records wanted a cigar is simple. The label is the creation of Eminem and Paul Rosenberg, his manager. Rosenberg is an avid cigar smoker. Sometimes it is as simple as that. The Undercrown Shady XX is the 20th anniversary of Shady Records. It is a bolder version of the Undercrown Maduro. The wrapper is Mexican San Andres Maduro with an American Connecticut Habano binder.

The cigar looks mean. A leathery dark wrapper on a short, stomp box-pressed bellicose. The blue and gold band with the lion looks great and the secondary ring with the Shady Records logo matches it. The construction feels great. The cap is smooth and pretty. The cigar has a strong dark aroma. Dark wood, soil, and barnyard aromas.

The cold draw is good. The flavors in the cold draw are raw tobacco and dark chocolate. Wood, leather, and spices. Full, Nicaraguan, bold like the lyrics of Eminem. There is some toast and roasted coffee as well. A few puffs later, a peanut flavor shows up. With plenty of pepper. The cigar is impossible to retrohale due to the strength. The cigar turns earthy, with cedar. Spicy and strong. The final third has pepper, cedar, earthiness, nuts, and roasted coffee beans.

Due to sad family circumstances, I’m not smoking this cigar in my well-ventilated office but in a shed in my parent’s garden. With a heater and the door closed. Within minutes this cigar leaves you gasping for air due to the thick and heavy smoke. The burn is even and the firm ash is white. The draw is good as well. This is a strong cigar in body and flavor. The smoke time is two and a half hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I actually prefer the regular Undercrown Maduro

Categories: Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Pappy van Winkle Tradition Coronita

Pappy van Winkle Tradition Coronita. A cigar by Drew Estate in collaboration with the famous bourbon brand Pappy van Winkle. Where the fermented cigars are exclusive to the Pappy van Winkle shop. But then the two released the Pappy van Winkle Tradition. It’s available to all Drew Diplomat retailers. There are five sizes available, plus one event only vitola. And a seventh vitola just for Jonathan Drew to hand out.

The 4×46 Coronita is one of the five regular production sizes. The cigar is made with an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. The binder comes from Indonesia. The Dominican Republic and Nicaragua take care of the filler tobaccos. Willy Herrera is responsible for the blend. The cigars come from La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Most of the cigar is hidden with a large ring. A ring with an old picture of a cigar-smoking gentleman. Could it be Pappy himself? The same picture is on the Family Reserve bottles of bourbon. The part of the wrapper that is visible is beautiful. Dark, oily, and smooth. The construction feels good. The aroma is quite strong. Dark, musky, and wood.

The cold draw is great. The flavor is leathery. The first puffs after lighting are strong, leathery with some sweetness, hay, earth, and wood. The mouthfeel is thick. The retrohale is very nice. The cigar has a sweetness that pairs well with bourbon I guess. The sweetness is gaining strength with some spice and a hint of dark chocolate. There is still that slight alcohol flavor as well. The final third has more cedar and a little spice. There is still some leather.

The draw is amazing. The smoke is classic Drew Estate, full and a lot of it. The burn is straight and the ash is reasonably firm. The cigar is medium in body and flavor. There is not a lot of evolution, but then again, it is a short cigar so there isn’t much room for that. It is well balanced and smooth. The smoke time is one hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I really liked this cigar, but 15 dollars for a petit corona is a bit much.

Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , ,

Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras

Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras, a cigar for the Chinese zodiac calendar. For the Year of the Ox. It is the second official Habanos release for the Chinese zodiac calendar after the Romeo y Julieta Maravillas. Although the Spanish distributor tested the water a year earlier with a Cohiba Robusto in special packaging. Since the Ox is a strong animal, it is kind of surprising that Habanos went for one of the milder cigars, Hoyo de Monterrey, and not for a bold Bolivar. My expectations are low, as I never liked Hoyo de Monterrey.

The size is a Hermosos No.1, a size that is not used for any regular production. I received the cigar from Pacific Cigar Company after being invited to the world wide virtual premiere of the cigar. The special packaging for this even included a beautiful cardboard tube with Chinese prints. But the cigars for commercial release come in a stunning box. A box worthy of a display and up to par, or even better looking, than the Behike packaging.

There are rumors that Cuba has a problem with growing wrappers for the last few years. And that that is the reason why larger cigars are so hard to find, as production numbers are low due to the shortage of wrappers. And looking at the wrapper of this Hoyo de Monterrey Primaveras, it could be true. The wrapper isn’t what you’d expect from a limited, expensive Habanos release. It’s a little rough, with lots of small veins. The wrapper also lacks oil. It has the classic Hoyo de Monterrey band with a red and golden ‘Year of the Ox’ foot band. The cigar feels a little spongy. The aroma is mild, wood and sawdust are the smells.

The cold draw is good. It has a bit of a salty peanut flavor. The first puffs are typical Cuban. It’s that Cuban leather that you can’t get in any cigar from anywhere else. There’s also a little bit of coffee in the flavor profile and some honey. Slowly some herbal and peppery flavors introduce themselves. The cigar slowly gains some strength. For a Hoyo de Monterrey, this is quite a strong cigar although it’s still nothing compared to full body Cubans such as Bolivar, Partagas, or even Cohiba. For the fans of Nicaraguan cigars, this is a medium body at max. The second third starts with that Cuban leather again, with a little soil, coffee, and pepper. here is also a wood flavor, but it’s not cedar. And a mild sweetness that comes close to honey. In the final third, the sweetness gets more pronounced and there is a nutty flavor. Slowly more pepper shows up as well. The cigar also has a herbal freshness. The finale is strong, much stronger than any regular production Hoyo de Monterrey.

The ash is silver-gray like the hair of an elderly gentleman. It’s not too firm though. The draw is fantastic. It is obvious that Cubatabaco and Habanos really invested in improving the quality of the rollers and quality control in the last few years. Plugged Habanos aren’t as common as they used to be. The burn is a little wonky but corrects itself every time. The smoke is good. The cigar is medium in body and flavor with a strong finish. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes

Would I smoke this cigar again? No, even though this is an enjoyable Hoyo de Monterrey, it is too darn expensive.

Categories: 91, Cuban cigars, Hoyo de Monterrey (Habanos) | Tags: , , , , , ,

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